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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Last year, nearly 4,000 air travelers tried to take a firearm through a security checkpoint in their carry-on luggage.

That is a 17 percent increase over 2016, and 84 percent of those weapons were loaded.

Now, TSA agents are working to educate the public on what you need to do if you plan to travel and are taking a gun with you.

“I think most people are actually surprised that you can travel with a firearm, but there is a right way to do it and a wrong way to do it,” TSA Spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Every day, an average of 11 people try to take guns through security checkpoints at American airports.

“You never want to bring a firearm to a checkpoint. The right way to do it is you make sure the firearm is unloaded, that it is packed in a hard-sided case, that it is locked and then you take it to the check-in counter,” Farbstein said.

You may be surprised how many people try to take a weapon through the TSA Checkpoint. Here at Pittsburgh International Airport, 28 people have tried to do it this year, and it is an expensive mistake to make.

As a matter of fact, first offense will cost you $3,900.

The bigger issue is what it does to the TSA screening process.

“It delays everybody else because we are now closing that lane until the situation is resolved. It prevents them from really focusing on explosives. That is the true danger, but again, we really can’t allow someone with a firearm on a plane,” Farbstein said.

Ammunition should be kept in its original box, then locked in your hard-sided and locked gun case.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

There are a few quick forms to fill out as well.

“It is not lengthy paperwork. It will take you one or two minutes to fill out,” Farbstein said.

Finally, just because you can fly out of Pennsylvania with your gun, doesn’t mean you can have it where you touch down.

“Now, you are in another airport, in another state. Do you have the proper paperwork to be standing in another state with your firearm? So, you really do need to do some homework,” Farbstein said.